family

Star Wars

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 | family | 1 Comment

I love Star Wars. It was a huge part of imaginative play for me when I was young. I’ve only seen the “real” Star Wars, what we now know as episodes 4 to 6. I’ve been waiting until my son is 8 to introduce the series to my kids. I wanted to deeply share the films with both of my older children. Allow them to savor each episode, discuss and analyze the themes. Tear it apart.

In an act of pure torture, this whole scheme meant that my daughter had to wait until she was ten and a half to see the films. Many of her schoolmates saw them at 3 or 4 years old. I’m glad we waited, and I think she appreciates it too. There was so much anticipation, adding weight to the films. This wasn’t just a summer flick. This was something important. A passage into an adult world of good and evil.

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"I'm Annakin Skywalker" he exclaims...

I waited to expose my kids to Star Wars until 8yo for many reasons. When it comes to movies, shows and screens I’ve been pretty conservative compared to what I’ve seen with other parents, including my own. A recent episode of This American Life featured a story about a six year old watching “the Shining” and what it did to him, and this radio show validated some of my parenting choices. I don’t know when I saw the shining, but I was young. I had nightmares.

As a PR guy for local food, one of my main points in speeches and presentations is “you are what you eat”. I get pretty deep and spiritual with it, explaining how every thing you put in your mouth ends up becoming part of you. I also spread it out into a bigger picture, and it comes into focus as a quasi-religion that I’m preaching for. It’s not just what you eat. You are what you drink, what you breathe. What you WATCH. A friend had a young son that watched Shrek. He was fairly well behaved until then. Immediately after that, and for an excrutiatingly long time, he started to ROAR “like Shrek”. It was obnoxious. And had that kid not watched the dreadful movie at such an impressionable age, he wouldn’t have done that. Or maybe not. It’s easy to judge and analyze other people’s kids…

Well, in our household we have the two older kids, 8 and 10, who got to see Star Wars – Ira, now 3, has to wait. I had a long running joke that they would ALL have to wait until Ira was 8 to watch it, because that would only be fair. Of course the daily talk and interplay since watching Star Wars got to Ira, so that even though he hasn’t seen the movie, he knows all the names and moves. As the third, and proportionally younger child, he is most certainly being raised in a completely different environment than my other kids – much more chaotic and really loud. So while Sy would have never touched a gun or fought with swords at 3, Ira does. They are and will be different kids.

So this summer we rode our bikes to the Blockbuster store across the highway. It became a regular event, and the guys at the store knew us by name and started harassing us about our Star Wars addiction. “You HAVE to rent Spaceballs!” this one guy kept saying. We stuck to 4, 5and 6. It was awesome, and I enjoyed the films just as much as I did when I was a kid.

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